Very often, when a particular national and political leader in our country is criticized, we are told ratherharshly, “He’s a hardworking man! He hardly ever sleeps!” What one is supposed to feel after that is a sense of guilt. I decided to find out:

“Yawn!” went the national leader.

“Sir you have been working for a full hour without having a nap!” says his PA.

“Yawn! Doesn’t Rahul work like this?”

“What are you saying sir? He simply goes to Parliament sir, he addresses crowds, he makes press statements!”

“So, I am the only hardworking leader who just worked one full hour at my desk!”

“Sir, nobody works like you sir!”

“What about Sonia?”

“Ha, ha, ha!” laughs his PA, “She only has meeting with chief ministers, secretaries, joint secretaries, MPs, MLAs,then attends Parliament!”

“My God, why doesn’t she work hard like me!”

“Nobody works hard like you sir!”

“And what about Trump? Hey why are you crying?”

“It is very sad sir! Very sad. All the time you are working, that man Trump, he is President of the United Sates sir, he is sleeping in his bed in the White House”

“Good Lord no!”

“Yes sir, I will call and you just see sir!Hello! Hello! I Trump sahib there?Oh he is sleeping!”

“He is sleeping now?”

“He is sleeping, and sir, much worse, all America is sleeping!”

“So while I was working for one full hour, 300 million Americans were sleeping?”

“Still sleeping sir, and Canadians too sir, and Mexico too. Also, in our evening, all Australians and even New Zealanders are sleeping sir!”

“You must tell the nation this!” said the leader.

“We have already told sir! Everybody knows you are working while all are sleeping! But sir, Indian people are saying, maybe you should sleep sir!”

“Go to sleep huh? They feel I am not getting enough rest? They are so concerned for my health huh?”

“Yes sir! They are saying, when you are awake, demonetization takes place,GST is introduced, new taxes come and take away their savings. Sleep sir!”

“What time is it?”

“Eleven o clock in the morning sir!” said the people of India wearily, “Good time to sleep sir, then stock market will rise, real estate move up, middle class feel happy, people eat what they want, not be afraid to speak, lynching will stop, intolerance decrease! Sleep sir, sleep, it’s eleven in the morning and the nation wants you to sleep so they can live again..!”

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Vedas are the ultimate gyan of Creation, they are as scientific and rational as they are old and traditional. Vedic philosophy did not discriminate on the basis of religion, geography, birth, colour of skin or status in society...all of these are modern developments. Vedic masters classified men into civilised (daivik) and uncivilised (asurik), and these could be found across cultures and religions, even in the same individual at different times and stages of life.

Dvau bhootasargau loke-asmindaiva aasura eva cha | Daivo vistarshah prokta aasuram paartha me shrinu || Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 6 ||

There are only two kinds of men in the world - those with daivik prakriti & those with aasurik prakriti, says Lord Krishna as he begins to detail the traits of an asur,

Men of asurik disposition are devoid of discernment, good conduct and honesty. They are destructive in nature - hurting & harming fellow beings, animals and environment, turning their face away from crimes. They live for just themselves and are characterised by hypocrisy, pride and arrogance. Immersed in the pleasures of senses, they take the body to be supreme and physical feats as finality. They spend their life and birth hoarding wealth, every day thinking of ways to collect more and more. Intoxicated by pleasures of senses, these men perform charity and sacrifice also only in name, for show-off. Such men, says Gita, get caught in a downward spiral, into lower and more painful births making their way to hells.

If you take a look around at growing cases of abuse of animals and humans, of thefts and treachery, you will find that asurik traits predominate mankind. Spiritual events where there is intoxication and wild dancing, shouting and screaming are traits of asurs. Like paaps committed in a temple does not make it a punya. Similarly intoxications, wild dancing and screaming in a spiritual Satsang does not make it a davik trait. Nothing wrong in partying or dancing provided simultaneously one is doing service, charity and aiding the positive forces of creation. Those who aid the positive forces of creation reap bounties; and those who destroy creation and its multi facets reap sins and are directed toward hells. Inflicting pain on helpless animals is a sure shot way of landing in hell.  The law of karma is a common denominator in all the religions in the world. It works. Make it work in your favour rather than against you by doing good deeds.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Ashram. He can be reached at

By Dr. Deepti Kathpalia

"Never take a person's dignity, it is worth everything to them and probably nothing to you". We as humans are very ill equipped to recognise, Identify and respond to abusive friendships. There exists no definite way to begin, maintain or end an abusive friendship. There is so much focus that rests on romantic relationships which turn abusive or violent but little or none towards platonic friendships, unfortunately.

This gross misuse of power against friends does occur more often than imagined and in similar ways as in other relationships. In my experience some of the most appalling, scary and vicious abuse cases I have come across have happened between friends.

Quite often than not, the survivor does not realise, for very late in the friendship that what is happening to her/him is actually abuse, as he or she has never thought of friendships being toxic and hurting.

When you begin to sense that someone you thought of as a friend, no longer and never really had your best interests in mind, it is pertinent that you pull the plug without any guilt as it is not an act of selfishness but will stem from self love which is much needed at that time.

We have all grown up with this belief that all friendships are healthy and fun, but that always is not the case. This abuse between friends can be very devastating, emotionally draining and extremely damaging both physically, physiologically and mentally.

Abuse between friends is mostly insidious and Machiavellian, leaving the person broken and shaky for a long time. Most often, it is assumed that if there is no physical violence involved then it does not qualify as abuse, but nothing can be more misleading than this assumption.

The negative effects of abusive friendships are many and major.


# They want to own you and start treating you like their property, become abnormally possessive and controlling.

# Spending time with them becomes emotionally and physically exhausting. Such friends are impossible to please, they are very judgemental, critical of your every move, your choices, thoughts and habits. A common trait they regularly manifest is that they will castigate you for almost everything. They love to snoop around your things and do not respect your privacy and need for boundaries.

It is like walking on eggshells when around them as they will call you names, hurl accusations at you and will threaten and give orders.

# They will not value you as a person and deny you any personal space as I have mentioned earlier also. They invariably behave obnoxious, arrogant and entitled most of the time.

They are very caustic with their remarks and statements and cleverly mock and ridicule you all the way and manage to diminish and beat a person's self esteem to such an extent that the impacts of this are seen in the long term too.

#One begins to feel hostage and under this friend's control. The feeling of defeat is profound and the victim feels less empowered to break free and surface from the abuse.

# They continuously gas light you into believing that you are a Bad friend if you do not give into their demands. There is an uneven dynamic in the relationship which is absolutely toxic.

# They are passive aggressive.

# Their approach to abuse is very subtle

..blaming you for everything that goes wrong.

..belittling your accomplishments and achievements.

..glorifying themselves while making you look stupid and incompetent.

..they make exploitative and outrightly abusive statements.

.. They talk behind your back and also about you to others in your presence, invariably in the garb of humour.

..Constantly emphasize about your so called incapabilities, will keep reminding how privileged your life has been and how their's has been a struggle. How they have it had very rough and you have been presented with things on a platter so you have no right to complain etc...

# Your achievements and possessions make them bitter and angry which makes them lash at you in some form or the other.

# You continuously feel choked and suffocated and live under constant fear.

# If you show your displeasure or voice your concerns they run you further down by complaining about your lack of humour and your being too sensitive and touchy.

# You are forced to shoulder their responsibility and everything in this friendship is non negotiable.

# They ostracise you at their will and come back the next minute claiming to be family.

# You are left exhausted, scared, tired and anxious.

# They hurl clever abuses at the way you have been parented.

# You live on the edge and worry constantly.


- Depression

- Sleep Disorders

- Indigestion (psychosomatic)

- Eating Disorders

- Fear of Abandonment

- Poor self Esteem

- Trust Deficit

- Inability to take Compliments

-A state of Emotional Vaccum.


Yes!! It is difficult to end relationships but it is much needed before it causes further damage. Seek emotional help at the earliest and a safe place to embark on that journey is through family.

Taking help of a counsellor, a mental health professional will immediately help shift focus and assist in breaking this vicious cycle of abuse. Regular sessions over the next few months do a lot of repairing and healing.

End this friendship immediately, walk away, cut off all contacts, no need for any dialogue or conversation as you do not owe any to anyone, least of all to this so called friend.

Here it is important to understand that you are doing this out of self love and respect for your own self so without any hesitancy pull the plug.

"Don't ever let your life be blighted by any abuse at all"

Dr. (Hon) Deepti Kathpalia

Psychologist, Therapist , Counsellor.

“Whatcha doing?” asked the wife, looking at me standing in front of the TV, “Why are you standing at attention?”

“The finance minister is reading out the budget!” I whispered, “And don’t shout like that, he might hear you!”

“So what if he hears me?” asked the wife, looking fiercely at theminister on the TV screen.

“He might introduce a marriage tax!” I said softly, “He’s already brought in a sin tax for my beer and cigars!”

“You don’t smoke!” said the wife sweetly.

“Who would?” I asked, “When every puff goes to the government, and the government lets it go up in smoke!”

“Oh my!” whispered my wife running to her mother and jumping with joy. “Your health insurance deduction has been raised by twenty thousand rupees!”

“Wonderful!” shouted her mother, “Means I can eat more ladoos and jalebhis and visit the hospital more often!”

“And look at this!” screamed the wife as she ran into the kitchen and disconnected our gasline, “Eight crore poor women will be given free gas connections! Just ask your friend in the government to give us a downgraded salary certificate, like he’s given all our neighbours!”

“Terrible!” I whispered, “There seems to be nothing in this budget for me!”

“Ofcourse there is!” screamed my wife, “Hear what the finance minister is saying. He’s doubling the income of farmers in the country!”

“But I’m not a farmer!” I said tamely.

“Ofcourse you are!” said the wife happily, “Remember that money plant you grew in the kitchen?”

“But that died!” I said.

“That’s what the government wants to do, help failed farmers!” said the wife, “And if Sharukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchanclaim to be farmers, I’m sure you can too! Imagine what we can do with your income doubled!”

Troubled, I turned back to the TV and heard the Finance Minister going on with the budget. I watched the rest of the members sleeping and the rest of India wide awake, then heard another scream, this time in shock and awe, “Growth is going to increase from 8% to 15%!” they both screamed.

“So what?” I asked looking at the TV screen.

“That means it will be 65 inches!” they both whispered.

“What are you both talking about?” I asked.

“His chest measurements!” said the wife in awe, “Will grow from 56 inches to 65 inches!”

“I have never seen a sixty-five inch chest ever!” said her mother. “We’ll need a wide-angle screen to accommodate him from now on!”

“With Bob’s doubled farmer income, we should be able to afford it!” said the wife looking at me happily. I switched off the TV, before the respectable finance minister started insisting I be tried in a juvenile court for misinterpreting his hard worked upon budget..!

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Na karmanaamanaarambhaannaishkarm yam purushoo-ashnute| Na cha sannyasanaadeva siddhim samadhigachchhati|| Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 3, Verse 4||

Neither does a man become free of karmas, without having stepped into the cycle of karma, nor does he attain ultimate bliss and merger merely by giving up on karma, says Krishna.

Often people mistake spirituality for escapism. It is not. Gita holds karma (action) as pradhan (supreme). The body made of the three gunas is designed to perform karmas; it cannot remain inactive even for a nanosecond. Lord Krishna and Lord Raama, when they took the body, performed karmas even though they were gods. It is foolish to think that one can escape karma. The one, who outwardly restrains from senses and actions but dwells upon on them in the mind, is a ‘mithyaachaari’ (hypocrite) as per Gita, because karma is what you do and also what you think. 

Suppressing desires or running away from them is not the solution, rising to the extent that they stop having an effect on you and you control them (not vice versa) is yog, and for this one needs to engage in the senses and actions, not for self, but for creation. The one who performs his duty towards creation, without attachment, rises over karma and achieves finality. The one who engages in living for self or in a life of inaction, wastes his life and birth.

Whatever the leaders and role models of the time do, whatever standards they set, the masses follow the suit, explains Gita. Krishna directs the wise to act with detachment for general good the same way as the unwise act with attachment of self-gratification. That is what Krishna did, as did Rama, and have the yogis and rishis through time immemorial.

In present times, in the heyday of negativity, where cows are slaughtered, dogs are pelted, monkeys are executed, humans are hungry, pollution is at its peak and certain so-called gurus are filling their coffers by promising fulfillment of desires to the masses (much in contrast to Gita), it becomes all the more important for the wise to act. It is upon the gurus and role models of present times to lead by example, by acting to save the animals, humans and creation at large and steering the masses on the same path.  Gita calls upon the gurus and yogis to not dissuade the men from action or unsettle their mind which is engaged in the senses, but to rather channelize their actions for the benefit of creation, so they may evolve and end their pain and suffering.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Ashram. He can be reached at